Portugal’s European Championship defence came to a disappointing end in Seville last night as Belgium narrowly overcame the Seleção in the last 16.

A difficult pill to swallow for Fernando Santos and his side, who’s group display felt like it warranted avoiding defeat at the least. Here’s PortuGOAL’s verdict on how the individuals performed.

 

 

 

XI

Rui Patrício - 5 (out of 10)

A terrific strike for sure but at this level and by his own standards Patrício will feel he should have saved the only goal of the game. Elsewhere, not a lot to do against an otherwise shot-shy Belgium.

Diogo Dalot - 7

Thrown in for his first senior start in scarcely more daunting fashion. However Dalot put in a composed and mature performance and was one of the better individuals on the night, quelling counter attacks but also participating in Portugal’s more offensive moments.


Belgium 1-0 Portugal: Match report


Raphaël Guerreiro - 6.5

Peppered the Belgium box with several deep crosses in the second half in particular, a pretty solid display overall. Desperately unlucky to strike the post with a difficult chance on his weaker foot.

Pepe - 7

Showed yet again he still has what it takes at this level despite his well publicised advancing years. Indulged in one slightly mad moment which saw him pick up a yellow card but overall he handled an in-form Lukaku quite expertly.

Rúben Dias - 7

After a slight wobble against France he looked a much more reassuring presence alongside Pepe. Ball usage was good, probably should have scored the chance he tested Courtois with in the second half.

João Palhinha - 6

A little rash at times, including picking up a yellow card for a foul on De Bruyne. However it was a performance that suggested he is capable of maintaining a regular role in this team, snapping into tackles and using the ball well, barring some wayward shooting which admittedly has never been his forte.

João Moutinho - 5.5

Looked a little laboured at times, the veteran was hooked early in the second half after a somewhat limited impact on the game. Did form a solid trio in defensive terms with Palhinha and Sanches, just not really offering enough going forward.

Renato Sanches - 8 MOTM

For the second game running he was Portugal’s best player, and despite only starting twice he’s debatably been the standout individual of their tournament. His skill, strength and ability on the turn is frightening at times, and defensively he was very solid too. Perhaps most importantly, his mentality looks back to where it was in the past as he played with the confidence of a man that belongs on this stage.


Belgium 1-0 Portugal: Match reaction


Bernardo Silva - 4

A below par tournament capped with another display that was nowhere near the levels he is capable of. Extremely minimal impact on the game and he was subbed before the hour mark.

Diogo Jota - 4

Emblematic of his tournament as a whole, a poor performance from Jota. Finishing was wayward yet again, missing one of the biggest Portuguese chances of the match in the first half, and by a long way at that. Unlucky with a snapshot in the second period, but for a player of his talent this was very much underwhelming fare again.

Cristiano Ronaldo - 7

Showed some nice touches and had a decent effort from a long distance free kick in the first half. Cut an isolated figure at times, particularly in the first half but put in the yards gamely and generally seemed to do ok with what little he had to work with, setting up Jota for a good chance in the second period.

SUBS

João Félix - 6

Had a few efforts on goal, one difficult header and then the final opportunity of the match but he dragged his shot wide. Looked quite bright for a player who had not played in nearly a month.

Bruno Fernandes - 5

A couple of efforts on goal in his 40-odd minutes on the pitch. Unable to exert serious influence.

André Silva - 5 

His movement caused a couple of issues for Belgium but didn’t generally have much of an impact, barring calling Courtois into action with a tight far post opportunity.

Danilo Pereira - n/a

Not really on long enough to warrant a considered rating.

Sérgio Oliveira - n/a

Not really on long enough to warrant a considered rating.

 

By Jamie Farr

@FRfutebolJamie

Comments (30)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

as many have said, Santos does not know how to get the best out of this team. Bernardo is not a winger. completely wasted out on the right side. really needs to be in a more central position to make an impact on the game.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Agree he was ineffective on the night, but he was great against France.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Agree. I think he deserved to stay on for the World Cup, but after that, its time that he hangs up his hat.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Any podcast coming up?

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I agree that Bernardo shouldn't be anywhere near the wings. He and Renato should start alongside Palhinha from here on out. That is a midfield trio that has the potential to be among the very best in international football.

Bruno Fernandes...

I agree that Bernardo shouldn't be anywhere near the wings. He and Renato should start alongside Palhinha from here on out. That is a midfield trio that has the potential to be among the very best in international football.

Bruno Fernandes should continue to be called up, but I just don't understand the logic of benching Bernardo or playing him out of position on the wing to accommodate someone who routinely flops for his national team and even for his club against quality opposition.

I think we also need to look into switching to a back three. Guerreiro, Cancelo, Mendes, Ricardo Pereira, and Dalot are all most effective operating as wingbacks.

We have a plethora of excellent wingbacks and a real shortage of out and out wingers - would it not make sense to transition to a tactical scheme that best suits the players we have at our disposal?

I also think Ronaldo needs a partner up top. He shouldn't be a lone center forward and he shouldn't play as a winger. Partner him with one of Felix, Jota, or Andre Silva depending on the opposition and the style we wish to play.

If we need a proper winger to come on to stretch the play, we can bring in one of Pedro Neto or Trincão.

I think Pepe still has another year left in the tank, so barring injuries he should continue to be part of the team. He outplayed Ruben Dias this tournament when many were highlighting him to be a potential weak link due to his age. Fonte should also be a decent back up option of he continues to play regularly at Lille.

The third center back spot in the back 3 should belong to Danilo from now on. Inácio, Domingos Duarte, Diogo Leite, etc should also be looked at as we need to start introducing some younger alternatives to the first team.

The future is still bright , but we need a fresh start. We need new ideas and a more proactive, attack minded approach under a new manager. We cannot expect to tie our way to another international final with the players we have at our disposal. Lightning won't strike twice. Let's move on.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Jon, 100% spot on, regarding system, tactics and squad. Will you tell to FS?

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

OMG!!! Why is it that we two are the only ones to see this! Bernardo, Renato, Pahlinha would be a killer midfield! Ronaldo, Jota up top too!! Guerrero, Mendes, Dias, Pepe, Cancelo fortifying the back!!!! OMG!!! How does Santos not see this!!!! He...

OMG!!! Why is it that we two are the only ones to see this! Bernardo, Renato, Pahlinha would be a killer midfield! Ronaldo, Jota up top too!! Guerrero, Mendes, Dias, Pepe, Cancelo fortifying the back!!!! OMG!!! How does Santos not see this!!!! He should be fired Dam*it!!!

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Bernardo inexplicably glued to the touch line all game. We need to have him in a central position. Case closed.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Very well played and at the same time many chances were spoiled.
The World cup is coming and as a huge Portugal fan my humble request is set up a better first eleven.Understand a player's real potential and allow his position.Bruno Fernandes,by...

Very well played and at the same time many chances were spoiled.
The World cup is coming and as a huge Portugal fan my humble request is set up a better first eleven.Understand a player's real potential and allow his position.Bruno Fernandes,by any means,is not a DM.He is a DM only in the dreams of Fernando Santos.What a miss was that!! Can you understand me? All the best for the WC qualifiers and WC 2022.Love your football.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Honestly, I am tired of watch Ronaldo throw the captain armband in the pitch like a baby when things don't go his way. he needs to get his goal and retire. It's time for the next generation to step up and they don't play as well as they should...

Honestly, I am tired of watch Ronaldo throw the captain armband in the pitch like a baby when things don't go his way. he needs to get his goal and retire. It's time for the next generation to step up and they don't play as well as they should when Ronaldo is on the pitch. I love Pepe but he also needs to retire so we can find a replacement ASAP. Also, the Santos project is over. We need a coach he understands how to use the talent at his disposal. It's time to give Rui George a chance as the leader of the senior team. No one knows these young players as well as he does.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I am not sold on Rui Jorge, because of his chokes in the under 21's final, twice.

But given I don't know who else is available, I might have to reluctantly accept.

Love Santos, but his work is done. Time to move on to the next phase and build...

I am not sold on Rui Jorge, because of his chokes in the under 21's final, twice.

But given I don't know who else is available, I might have to reluctantly accept.

Love Santos, but his work is done. Time to move on to the next phase and build a solid defensive team that ATTACKS!

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Spot on, but not a fan of Rui Jorge. He can't seem to get over the line with a talented young squad.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

One quick comment on Palinha, even though I do think the yellow card was appropriate for the foul on KDB, does he get that if he is from a big club and it isn't KDB?

Or even if he is let's say Real Madrid and it is on KDB? Probably not.. Maybe,...

One quick comment on Palinha, even though I do think the yellow card was appropriate for the foul on KDB, does he get that if he is from a big club and it isn't KDB?

Or even if he is let's say Real Madrid and it is on KDB? Probably not.. Maybe, just maybe called a foul, but no yellow.

Everyone would be, "What an amazing player, got the ball first, who can catch KDB from behind, WOW!"

Reputations change perspectives.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I don't want beautiful football, I want winning football.

If it ugly or beautiful or better yet, practical for the situation, that helps us win, that is what I want.

Interesting in the USA, the ESPN commentators, were impressed how the Belgium...

I don't want beautiful football, I want winning football.

If it ugly or beautiful or better yet, practical for the situation, that helps us win, that is what I want.

Interesting in the USA, the ESPN commentators, were impressed how the Belgium team won by just barely holding on. If you can "win without playing your best", then you can go far in the tournament. I wonder why they weren't playing their best? Bad day? The Heat?

Of course we know it had nothing to do with the competition.

The first phase was the Golden Generation(that wasn't). Beautiful, fun, exciting, choking in big games.

The second phase was the Santos era( that WAS Golden). Solid, ugly, defensive and winning in big games. Solid in defense, great in quick transition to attack(counter attacking). That era is over.

The third phase, ATTACKING football, that also can defend. Defending primarily by dominating other teams, and solid in transitioning to defense(counter defending).

The third phase is necessary, and the only acceptable alternative. We must finally step and take our place as a POWERHOUSE.

We have the talent, now we need a coach to lead us forward.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

There are many take-aways from Portugal's performance at these Euros and multiple disappointments, from players, coach, tactics. The list is long and many of you have already touched on so many of these. The cherry on the cake was Ronaldo's...

There are many take-aways from Portugal's performance at these Euros and multiple disappointments, from players, coach, tactics. The list is long and many of you have already touched on so many of these. The cherry on the cake was Ronaldo's reaction at the end. Him throwing his arm band to ground (again) and storming off the pitch while his teammates acknowledged their fans, was so wrong on so many levels. It showed his selfishness and lack of class. Coming from the team's captain, it was totally unacceptable. If Santos had any balls, he would give him a proper reprimand. I respect all he's done for Portugal over the decades, but if he had any class and respect for the one's that have given him such a charmed life, he would apologize profusely to all Portuguese and fans from around the world. Truly distasteful!

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

With the kind of talent Portugal has, they need to play more like Spain....

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Agreed, not quite Tiki-Taki, but some possession based style, that is quick to press and converge once we lose the ball.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

This is such a difficult game to use to slap a general statement on. Portugal played their strategy to the T and we're just unlucky when the dust settles. If we had won the game in the same Fashion Belgium did, we would have been celebrating...

This is such a difficult game to use to slap a general statement on. Portugal played their strategy to the T and we're just unlucky when the dust settles. If we had won the game in the same Fashion Belgium did, we would have been celebrating calling Santos the defensive genius.

Looking at things from 2016 until today paints a much clearer picture.

The coach did a masterful job instilling confidence in the selecao and it's fans. Made us a very tough team to beat but the time has now come to morph into something else : World Beaters. I think some understandably are overly negative about Santos. I don't think anyone was ever confused when he took over that he was going to create an offensive juggernaut and if in fact most expected the opposite. He came in to make sure the ship stayed afloat and reinforce it's structure.

We have the talent to be an offensive force on the international scene. We as fans are now more aware because so many of our players are playing in highly regarded leagues and performing very well, setting transfer fee records..losing in this fashion in 2016 wouldn't have been as frustrating because many already had accepted that we were a team that consisted of Ronaldo and those other guys. Now we have a ton of individual identities who are more or less household names.

The time has come for Santos to step down. Not because he decided to play William...not because he stuck to a 4 man back line...not because we were eliminated but because it has become very clear that Santos is not going to change his philosophy + strategy (nor should he..look at what it's gotten him. 3 trophies. ) To force Bernardo , Jota, Guerrero , Bruno Fernandes to play out of position or against what makes them an asset for the sake of the strategy isn't bad... If it works. We see it doesn't. Not just based on yesterday.

I would also like to add that the loss of Cancelo cannot be understated. To me it was clear he had a big role in Santos vision being our defacto winger helping stretch defenses. He was playing on another level to close out the season, he would have aided the attack.

Read More
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I agree with Concelo being a loss, as was not having Neto. But in the end, you have to play with what you have and he still had enough talent to do better.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

With all due respect Mateiu, you are being extremely generous. They squandered their chances yesterday. I think Santos was very far from doing a masterful job. I think that by and large, he got his tactics all wrong, especially against Germany,...

With all due respect Mateiu, you are being extremely generous. They squandered their chances yesterday. I think Santos was very far from doing a masterful job. I think that by and large, he got his tactics all wrong, especially against Germany, and they were very fortunate to get through with a 2-2 draw against France. Why he didn't play Nuno Mendes and Pote, when they were both fit yesterday, is a real head scratcher. Many weird choices and missed chances. We are far from being "World Beaters". We looked more like egg beaters. Although, the future is bright, we need another philosophy and identity if we are to reap the benefits of a talented pool of youngsters, and to your point, that can't be with Santos at the helm.

Read More
There are no comments posted here yet
Load More

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location

      

“I am very happy to continue this adventure with LOSC. A big thank you to everyone, I will continue to give my all for Lille.”

José Fonte
(Portugal centre-back and Lille captain, after a signing contract extension with the French club) 

Partners